by Rachel Ogbu
Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba State was flown to Germany for further treatment but recent reports claim he might not have made it save for some Fulani herdsmen close to the scene of the Thursday air crash.
The governor flying with a few of his aides in Yola when the accident occurred was rescued first by the herdsmen who rushed to their aid.
Sources in Yola said that but for the prompt response of the cattlemen who pulled the victims from the wreckage of the Cessna 208, it would have been difficult for the governor and the rest to survive. A rescue team from Yola later arrived the spot and transported the victims to the hospital.
The injured governor now abroad had quite severe injuries to his right arm and head. Another source decried a situation where there is no single plane to airlift critically injured trauma patients in the country.
He said a new state-of-the-art trauma centre with provision for a helipad has been constructed at the National Hospital, but expressed disappointment that Suntai had to be driven to the airport in his critical condition.
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) yesterday maintained that Nigeria has qualified manpower to handle critical conditions such as Suntai’s. In a statement, NMA Secretary General, Akpufuoma Pemu, urged the Federal Government to do more by improving the healthcare infrastructure in the country.
The governor was spotted leaving at 1.57pm in the same State House Medical Centre Ambulance that brought him from the Abuja airport to the hospital on Friday. The governor remained heavily bandaged and wore an oxygen mask.
In his convoy were six vehicles carrying doctors, security men, some legislators and close family members.